Traditional mincemeat recipe

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‘The aroma of festive baking is a memory from my childhood that will always stay with me’, says chef Edward Hayden in his book ‘Food for Friends’. ‘Now years later when I find myself emulating my mother’s annual tasks, it is my delight to fill our home with these most fragrant aromas. While you can buy commercial mincemeat now, there is nothing to compare to the homemade variety.’

Makes approximately 4 jars


2 medium cooking apples
225g brown sugar
150g butter
Zest & juice 2 oranges
110g mixed peel
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
150g currants
300g raisins
150g sultanas
50ml Irish whiskey


1. Chop the apples into small pieces and add to a medium saucepan with the butter and the sugar and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.

2. Next add all the other ingredients and continue to cook for approximately 10-15 minutes (the liquid should have come to the boil at this stage).

3. Transfer the mixture to sterilised jars and leave to rest for a couple of weeks before using.



This recipe will makes about four jars of mincemeat. The flavour develops greatly over time so the longer you can have this made before Christmas, the better!


From Food for Friends by Edward Hayden


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